Teacher banned after Prom incident

Published on: 02 Feb 2016

A FORMER teacher at Downend School has been banned from the profession after allowing a vulnerable student to stay overnight in her hotel room following the Year 11 prom in 2014.
Rebecca Lacey, 28, told a professional conduct panel that she took in the boy because she was concerned for his safety, fearing he was at risk of being influenced to take drugs and alcohol. There is no allegation of sexual activity.
Afterwards, Miss Lacey failed to report what she had done and when questioned she denied that it had occurred, the hearing was told.
The panel of the National College for Teaching and Leadership said it was a very serious incident. Miss Lacey’s failure to observe professional boundaries had led to a gross breach of trust, which constituted unacceptable professional conduct. It ruled that she should be prohibited from teaching indefinitely, with the opportunity for review after two years.
Miss Lacey, who taught ICT at Downend from 2010 to March 2015, faced a further allegation that she “overguided” her Year 11 class with their coursework, which resulted in 50 pupils not gaining a qualification. The panel ruled that this was “inadvertent” rather than deliberate or reckless.
Head teacher William Roberts said in a letter to parents: “When the school became aware of allegations of impropriety, we followed our child protection policy and procedures.  Miss Lacey was suspended, and following detailed investigation, resigned her position.
“Teachers hold a position of trust, and must observe proper professional boundaries in their work with students. Miss Lacey’s conduct was entirely unacceptable, which is why the school took prompt and robust action to deal with the allegations, including referring the case to the National College for Teaching & Leadership for consideration.
“The safety of students at Downend School is of paramount importance to us. We want to reassure
you that we will continue to do everything we can to provide a safe environment for your children.”
The panel judgement can be found online at : https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/493218/Web_Decision_-_Lacey__Rebecca.pdf

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